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Afternoon Ticker: Mascherano nearing Barca deal, Evra to appeal and more

Javier Mascherano 1 (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

Javier Mascherano's exit from Liverpool appears to be closer than ever, as Barcelona is set to make a move in order to up its transfer bid for the Argentina international.

Barcelona is on the verge of selling Zlatan Ibrahimovic to AC Milan in a move that would help the Spanish giants make a more serious offer for Mascherano.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola admitted at a press conference on Tuesday that he is interested in Mascherano as he feels a defensive midfielder would resolve the team's needs.

Mascherano was left out of Liverpool's squad for its 3-0 defeat to Manchester City on Monday, with club manager Roy Hodgson stating that Mascherano was not in the right frame of mind.

Here are some more stories from Tuesday:

Evra to appeal ban

Former France national team captain Patrice Evra is set to appeal his five-game ban from playing for Les Bleus for his role in boycotting a practice session at the World Cup. Evra's lawyer said that no individual punishment should be handed to Evra as the team as a whole skipped the practice to protest the expulsion of Nicolas Anelka.  

Evra was one of four players from the World Cup team to receive a suspension.

Fulham signs Halliche

Fulham bolstered its defense with the signing of Algerian defender Rafik Halliche from Benfica. Halliche, who played every minute of Algeria's World Cup, agreed to a three-year deal. The transfer fee was undisclosed. 

Cissokho to miss upcoming Euro qualifiers

Lyon defender Aly Cissokho will miss France's upcoming UEFA Euro 2012 qualifiers after picking up a hamstring injury over the weekend. Cissokho's torn muscle will force him to miss at least three weeks, ruling him out of Les Bleus' qualifiers against Belarus on Sept. 3 and Bosnia and Herzegovina four days later.

Cissokho is the third Lyon player to suffer a hamstring injury in the past week.

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What do you think of the way Liverpool is handling Mascherano's seemingly inevitable exit? Do you see Evra getting the ban lifted? Think Halliche will become a starter for Fulham? Is it time for Lyon to start bubblewrapping its players.

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Yeah, but a 25 year old with 36 international caps for a pretty solid squad isn’t much to sneeze at, especially when he played well in the World Cup. I’ll be SHOCKED if he doesn’t end up at a decent club.

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  2. * Fabregas I can understand slightly more than the others since he’s a Catalan and all, but still — he’s the centerpiece of a brilliant Arsenal team, he lives in maybe the most cosmopolitan city anywhere, and he’s idolized by the Arsenal supporters. And yet he spent all summer making puppy dog eyes at Barca, so he could move back to a team where he might not even start?

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  3. Maybe this is a dumb question, but why are top-level players so excited about moving to Madrid and Barca as opposed to other top-level clubs — Inter, United, Bayern, City (at this point), etc.?

    Here’s a list of players, off the top of my head, who have moved to Spain in the past couple of years, or have expressed interest in doing so: Henry, Zlatan, Kaka, Ronaldo, Maicon, Cesc Fabregas (*), Robinho, Mascherano, Mesut Ozil, Karim Benzema…

    Of these, the big three Madridistas went out in the first knockout round of the group sages; Henry is now in MLS; Zlatan is warming the bench until his inevitable departure; Ozil may not even get playing time this year; and the others are mostly on strike (Robinho, Mascherano, Fabregas until the beginning of this year) trying to engineer moves away from their current teams. Maicon even wanted to leave the reigning Champions League winners!

    Meanwhile, last year’s Champions League final was contested between teams bursting with Spanish cast-offs (Sneijder, Eto’o, Arjen Robben). Ronaldo’s old team yet again placed ahead of his new team.

    Can other teams not match the wages paid by Madrid and Barca? Is contrast between the Costa Brava and Manchester or Munich really that stark? Are these teams really that much more prestigious than their English, German, and Italian counterparts? Some combination of these? I don’t get it.

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  4. wow. Selling Ibra seems a bit risky given that Henry is gone and Villa was the only replacement coming in. Perhaps they feel confident enough to have Bojan and Pedro shoulder a heavier load?

    I dunno, Ibra is too special a player for me. Sure he was injured a long time last season, but when he is healthy he is as good as anyone on the planet.

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  5. Sorry Ives, that topic hit a very delicate subject, my beloved Barca! Too long a post I know, sorry

    Oh and blah blah blah…..

    Think of it this way for the last season and a half the starting line up pretty much had Valdez GK, both CB’s, 2 or 3 MF, and 1 or 2 FW’s of home grown.
    Last year it was almost always 8 home grown players + Alves, Abidal and maybe Ibra or Yaya or Keita.

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  6. blah blah blah you’re full of it dude!

    Barca may have spent a lot on a ton of stars at the beginning of the decade when they were almost the National team of Netherlands plus Rivaldo but look at what they have done in the last 5 or 6 years!

    They haven’t really gone out for extreme purchases other than maybe the Stupid transfer of Ibrahimovich which was pretty much like 70 million dollar transfer when you count Eto’o

    Alves was cheap until he did so well and the bonus fees kicked at around 25-30 million Euros, yaya came for around 20 or less million sold for 30.
    Henry came super Cheap at 14 million if you ask me what he did the 2nd year.
    Abidal don’t remember how much he was but he couldn’t of been that expensive.

    The rest of the team? Puyol who’s captian, homegrown, Pique his partner same.
    Now almost the whole midfield of Spain national team and Barca is home grown, plus Messi and Pedro home grown.
    Bojan who’s now #1 off the bench for FW, home grown! Jonoathan Dos Santos home grown, Cesc Home grown!

    Get with the Program

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  7. I have nothing but respect for Hodgson but I’m tickled with joy at the decline of that club.

    I hope their loyal supporters enjoy the desent since their moral character has always been at a rock bottom.

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  8. yea i agree with you. watching that liverpool-man city game yesterday was tough. the quality just wasn’t there. i kept waiting for someting to happen and it just didn’t. they need new owners more than anyone in the world. even their stars are looking poor right now

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  9. If Liverpool lose Mascherano and they continue on this vein of form, I can’t see Torres and Kuyt sticking around much longer. There just arent many positives in that club from ownership to youth system. The magic is running low, this could get 2008/09 Newcastle-esque within a 2-3 years if new owners dont pop up soon.

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  10. Things keep getting worse for Liverpool. As players come and go it’s hard not to find the quality as on the decline. Xabi Alonso for Aquilani (poor transfer and replacement,) Mascherano and we bring in Poulsen? Lucas was brought in somewhere down the line and he’s considered to have a good game if he doesn’t make too many mistakes, forget contributions! Not convinced about Jovanovic either.

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  11. Just all hope Feilhaber gets to sign with a decent Portuguese or French or Spanish club before the transfer closes. England and Germany are not his leagues.

    I have a feeling some newly promoted EPL team or a Championship club will sign DeMerit. He probably will want to stay somewhere near London so be on the lookout.

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  12. i’m a madrid fan and i find your comment ill-informed. sure, they are the 2nd highest spenders, but their salaries are for players they developed. they have a great youth system, no doubting it.

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  13. Cesc left Barcelona at pretty much the same age John Terry left West Ham, both of whom had never made first team appearances with their youth side. Does anyone consider John Terry a West Ham product? He’s much more of an Arsene Wenger-made player than a Barca-made palyer, despite what sycophant’s like Puyol and Xavi may say.

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  14. Transfer window isn’t closed yet and it’s well known that Aarhus is desperate to sell him, so let’s just wait and see what happens.

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  15. Did not read this and very troublesome if true. Surely he could find a team in the CC or first division of a Nordic team.

    I thought he’d have the most offers. Shows what a poor, injury hit season will do to a player’s reputation.

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  16. othing on benny feilhaber admitting he’s got no options right now? Very surprising to me. He didn’t have a great world cup, but i think he warranted an offer from someone other than a danish 2nd division side. He needs to fire the agent asap

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  17. exactly, they contributed the following youth products to Spain’s World Cup winning squad, all of which started the final:

    Puyol
    Pique
    Busquets
    Xavi
    Iniesta
    Pedro

    They did buy Villa, but name one Real Madrid youth player who is in the club’s starting 11? I think just Casillas…

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  18. “story about them developing youth is trash..”

    Have u not been paying attention? Just because they buy heavily doesn’t mean they don’t develop players.

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  19. you dont have to pay as much when someone hands in a transfer request. plus transfer values have come down this summer since no one can get financing like in the past. you seem bitter.

    Barca for life!

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  20. Barca are the highest second spenders in the whole world for the past 10 years

    story about them developing youth is trash..

    Hypocrites they are..they accuse Madrid of doing the same things they do

    (SBI-Apparently developing Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Pique, Puyol, Busquets, Valdes and Fabregas is a “trash” story. I’m all for rivalries my friend, but your Real Madrid love has you pretty blinded.)

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  21. Barca should change name to..” el cheap @sses”

    could not pay players, Could not even gather nuff money to buy their claimed DNA cesc

    and I heard they went for Mash with start price of 12 Million,

    really Cheap people

    Reply

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